It has been an incredible struggle to keep the doors open at the Avenue A location. We are basically working around the clock at [the Second Avenue location] to feed Avenue A. My staff, guys who have been fighting and pushing with me since April, are absolutely shot.
The cost of running an entire store on electricity as opposed to gas is also extremely costly. I'm not sure how much longer we can keep this up. At the same time, I have 15 full-timers and 10 part-timers who depend on their jobs to feed their families, pay rent or get through school.
There is no end in sight and this is all extremely frustrating especially since the original issue was not gas related. Somehow, I've still had to file permits with the DOB, amendments with the DOB, and apply for gas with ConEd as if I were a brand new operation. I've heard stories of similar issues from other shop owners who waited months or even a year to have their gas restored.
It makes no sense and seems incredibly unjust. Small businesses who have already jumped through the hoops and paid filing fees shouldn't be forced to start from scratch when a gas issue arises. Further, I believe we should be given some sort of expedited preference as our livelihood, and the livelihood of our employees depend on keeping the doors open.
At the very least, in their own self-interest, the city should be wise enough to help the few small businesses left who are still creating jobs, paying sales, state and other taxes, and keeping neighborhoods vibrant and alive. It almost seems like they don't want us around and I just don't get any of it.I'm hoping someone out there with enough power might be interested ... to help us, and make it so others don't have to go through the same ordeal. I know I'm one of the lucky ones. Many were not able to recover and lost their businesses. It has to stop.